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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of April 17-18 and beyond

April 16, 2010 |  8:55 pm

Nuts for Mutts

From walk-a-thons to educational demonstrations to opportunities to meet adoptable pets, the coming days and weeks are full of events for Southern California animal lovers. We've got the details on a number of upcoming events; if you think we're missing something, let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting the details to us @LATunleashed.

Friday-Sunday, April 16-18, America's Family Pet Expo returns to the Orange County Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa. The event features informational displays on dog breeds, adoptable animals, pet-themed vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides and demonstrations of activities such as dog grooming, K-9 police dog work and dock-diving dogs. Tickets are $12, $10 for people over age 60, $6 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. More information at PetExpoOC.com.

Saturday, April 17, the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter and Sunny-Dog Ink present its PAWStronomical Pet CPR Event at Burbank's Woodbury University Auditorium, 7500 Glenoaks Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presentation includes information on how to properly perform rescue breathing and CPR on a pet, how to help a choking animal, disaster preparedness tips for pets, how to check a pet's vital signs and more. Event also features pet-themed vendors and a chance to meet adoptable pets. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12 if purchased in advance; if purchased on the day of the event, they're $20 for adults and $10 for children. Proceeds benefit the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter. Presentation begins promptly at 10 a.m. and ticket booth closes the day of the event at 9:45 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit PAWStronomical.com.

Saturday, April 17, CBS Films and the American Humane Assn. team up with the L.A. Department of Animal Services to promote pet adoption at the East Valley animal shelter, 14409 Vanowen Street in Van Nuys. Visitors to the event, which is scheduled to coincide with the release of the film "The Back-Up Plan" (starring Jennifer Lopez as a rescue-focused pet store owner), will receive promotional gifts related to the film. More information at AmericanHumane.org.

Saturday, April 17, the L.A. Zoo invites its Safari Club supporters to its Sunset Safari from 6 to 8 p.m. Beginning at 6 p.m., Safari Club members will get an up-close look at the Brazilian giant otters that debuted at the zoo last year, and have a chance to experience other wildlife species. From 6:45 to 8 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy cocktails, a buffet dinner and live music. More information at LAZoo.org.

Sunday, April 18, local rescue group New Leash on Life presents its fifth annual Nuts for Mutts 5K walk-a-thon in conjunction with the Calabasas Rotary Club and the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center. The walk-a-thon is a fundraiser for New Leash on Life's work on behalf of needy pets in the L.A. area and includes pet-themed exhibits, children's activities, a canine fashion show, a dog training clinic and more animal-related activities. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, and continues through the hills of Calabasas. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to participate. For more information or to register, visit NewLeash.org.

Upcoming:

Wednesday, April 21, the documentary "Through a Dog's Eyes" premieres on PBS stations beginning at 8 p.m. The documentary, narrated by actor Neil Patrick Harris, shows how service dogs learn to serve the disabled and how people and dogs are paired. More information at PBS.org.

Through Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day), secondhand-clothing store chain Buffalo Exchange and the Humane Society of the United States jointly host Coats for Cubs. Animal lovers are encouraged to clean out their closets (or parents' and grandparents' closets) and donate any real-fur items found there (including fur trim, accessories and shearling) back to the animals. Of course, it's too late to give the fur back to its original owner, but it can still be used as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife -- and it doesn't do your conscience any harm, either. Fur in any condition is accepted and can be taken to any Buffalo Exchange location. (If you'd like to claim your fur donation as a tax deduction, you'll need to mail it directly to the Humane Society rather than dropping it off at Buffalo Exchange; mailing information is available at HSUS.org.) More information at BuffaloExchange.com.

Saturday, April 24, spcaLA hosts PAWS to Read at the Redondo Beach Public Library, 303 N. Pacific Coast Highway, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Participation is free; sign-up begins at 9 a.m. at the Children's Information Desk. More information at spcaLA.com.

Saturday, April 24, all Buffalo Exchange locations host a Dollar Day Sale in celebration of Earth Day, with proceeds from sale items benefiting the Humane Society of the United States' Don't Trash Wildlife campaign. More information at BuffaloExchange.com.

Friday-Sunday, April 30-May 2, PetSmart Charities presents its "Second Chance for Love" adoption weekend, with events scheduled for each of PetSmart's locations with the goal of finding new homes for more than 18,500 pets. More information at Adoptions.Petsmart.com. (Thanks to reader Miss Picky for giving us a heads-up about this event. Her rescue group of choice is the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort, which will set up shop from noon to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday at PetSmart San Juan Capistrano.)

Saturday, May 1, eyewear company Kaenon Polarized presents SUP for a Pup, a sample sale of surf apparel, accessories and equipment to benefit rescue group A Wish for Animals. (If you're wondering -- we certainly did -- what the "SUP" of the event's title means, it's an acronym for Stand Up Paddle, a type of surfing.) Visitors will find deals on surf gear and meet adoptable pets; entertainment will be provided and Wahoo's Fish Taco will be on site with food and beverages. Event takes place at Kaenon Polarized's Newport Beach store, 864 W. 16th St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information at SUPForAPup.com.

Saturday, May 1, farm animal sanctuary Animal Acres hosts its Compassionate Cooking Extravaganza from noon to 5 p.m. at its Acton facility, 5200 Escondido Canyon Road. Presenters including vegan chef and cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau will teach students how to make vegan cheese from scratch, prepare raw foods and create delicious dairy- and egg-free desserts. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance. For more information or tickets, visit AnimalAcres.org.

Wednesday, May 5, local charity Operation Blankets of Love, which provides blankets and toys to pets housed in Southern California shelters, hosts a bingo fundraiser at West Hollywood landmark Hamburger Mary's, 8288 Santa Monica Blvd, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For a $20 suggested donation, guests will receive bingo cards for 10 regular games and two grand-prize games. The event also includes raffle prizes and a live auction. Reservations aren't required, but organizers suggest arriving about 30 minutes early to snag the best seating. Valet parking is available.

Saturday, May 8, the L.A. Zoo invites visitors to celebrate Mother's Day with an informative presentation about motherhood in the animal kingdom. The event begins with a reception at 10:30 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. presentation by naturalist and zoo docent Joleen Lutz. Docent-led walking tours showcasing the zoo's most interesting mothers and their offspring begin at 11:45 a.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12, plus the price of zoo admission; tickets for zoo members are $10 and $5 for children under 12. For more information or to make a reservation, visit LAZoo.org.

Sunday, May 23, Best Friends Animal Society holds its annual Spring Super Adoption Festival at Westchester Park, at the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Manchester Avenue in Westchester, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hundreds of pets from area animal shelters and rescue groups will be on hand to meet potential adopters, and the event will give special attention to senior pets, which are often overlooked in favor of younger animals. (Take it from us, kids: Adopting a senior pet is great, particularly if said pet is already house-trained!) More information at BestFriendsEvents.net.

Mark Your Calendar:

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will open its newly restored 1913 Building with a brand-new "Age of Mammals" exhibition beginning July 11. The exhibition traces the history of evolution "from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the rise of humans -- within the context of epochal changes in the Earth's geology and climate," John Harris, the Natural History Museum's head of vertebrate studies and chief curator of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, told our sister blog Culture Monster. Visitors will get to see specimens like the Simi Valley mastodon, a saber-toothed cat and a brontothere (a species with possibly the most rock 'n' roll-sounding scientific name: "thunder beast").

Ongoing:

The Origins skin care store at The Shops in Mission Viejo has partnered with the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center to offer free mini-facials, gifts with purchase and a chance to win a $100 Origins shopping spree in exchange for items donated to the animal services center. Taking Origins up on this offer is simple: Just head into the retail store located on the second level of The Shops in Mission Viejo and drop off an item on the animal services center's wish list. Wish-list items include blankets, towels, newspapers, heating pads, unused collars, bottles for unweaned kittens and dog and cat toys. More information at MissionViejoLife.org.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo: A group of participants at the finish line of the Nuts for Mutts event in 2009. Credit: New Leash on Life

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